Sunrise at the High Altar, I’m up to my elbows in goat entrails. There’s no arguing with the bloodied mess of intestines.
Esset approaches, apron stained with the blood of seven goats, face stained with tears as if I’m already dead.
‘Nembe.’ He speaks my name in sorrow.
Elvish steel gleamed, muting the flames from Reki’s torch. The bluish light dispelled the cavern’s shadows as he stared at the sword buried tip first in the rock floor.
He glanced back the way they’d come. ‘That was easy.’
Nachal grinned. ‘Don’t knock it, boy,’ she said. ‘I’ve hired out…
“Andy, darling!” She enters my apartment in a waft of costly perfume and kisses me on both cheeks. My sensors work automatically in the background.
Breath alcohol level: Thirty-seven milligrams.
Skin temperature: Elevated.
She’s a little drunk and definitely horny.
She heads straight for my sumptuous four-poster bed…
Ailric presses his blade against my throat. ‘Go ahead. Kill me,’ I say. ‘Add another ghost to haunt you.’
There’s a long pause. He pushes me away from him. Ghosts. He has enough of those.
‘In the name of all that’s holy, Danae! Why’re you here?’
I sweep my arm…
Relieved to get a response from the boy, I glanced back over at the wolf.
There was no wolf.
I eased myself up slowly, looking around. No sudden movements, I told myself. Wolves had been native here a couple of hundred years ago, but I was pretty sure they were…
“What the…” I shoved myself backwards, coming up short against the car door. I pressed myself against it, my heart hammering in my chest as I tried to figure out what had just happened.
There was no broken glass, not even a crack in the windshield. …
We need you to make the other half of the map.
What in the hell was going on here? A few hours earlier I had found a boy by the side of the road and tried to do right by him. Tried to help him.
I was more than regretting…
I glanced down at the child I’d tried to save. He scooted backwards, away from me.
If he won't come with me, I must leave him here.
I had no choice. I’d go alone and fetch help back with me.
A sharp ache pierced my chest at the thought of…